As we left the previous room, the Hand of Meta reached down to intervene again. After the intervention, it was just me, Priest Guy, Beardy, Elf Lady, and Sword Lady.
We walked in to a room with a huge chasm in the middle, a lever on either end of the room, and platforms on either side of the chasm. By standing on the platforms and pulling the lever closest to us, it began to form a bridge. We eventually figured out what buttons activated which part of the bridge, while I sat back and watched, just holding the lever. I thought about leaving my backpack to hold the lever, or trying to lasso the lever across the room, but instead I stood back and memorized the pattern of the platforms. I think it impressed the others. . . mission accomplished! After Elf Lady crossed the bridge, she pulled the lever. Balthazar appeared and told us we would have to face the final and most dangerous challenge. I halfheartedly objected, since he never mentioned danger when we were entering his house. Regardless, we went on.
The final room was a stage, divided in two by a wall down the center. We had to pick a champion. I gave Beardy a couple of pokes, but we chose the heavily armored sword lady instead. We sent Sword Lady up to the stage while we took our seats. Balthazar showed up and began hosting what seemed like a two player game for us to watch. Sword Lady had to ask and answer questions of the person on the other side of the wall. Afterward, they both had to choose whether they wanted to date or not. I found the premise a bit strange, but I would watch it again. . .
The first lady really liked cats. Sword lady rejected her pretty quickly. Immediately, we were attacked by some sort of magical tiger! I used a light dart potion, but I must have messed up the recipe. It didn’t do as much damage as I thought it should have. We were about to be eaten alive, but Sword Lady ran up and slayed it. As it died, it turned into dust. I quickly ran up and collected it.
The second lady wanted someone as strong as a bear. She didn’t like Sword Lady so much, so we were attacked by a couple of magic bears. I was prepared this time with a second light dart potion. I know I prepared this one right, but it still seemed a little short on damage. I’ll revisit my recipe book after this is all over. We did end up killing them. No dust to collect from the bears though. . . Sad times.
The last lady was called Mary Sue, I think. She was really good at everything apparently. I think Balthazar found her and put her in just because he wished he could have her. She was too good for our Sword Lady, and so our last challenge was to fight Balthazar himself.
We went on to the next room. . .
There was Balthazar, already dead! There were also some really large suits of armor with decaying bodies in them. Sword Lady takes the circlet from Balthazar’s dead head, and then he appears in a magic form. Apparently we would have had to fight him if his body had been in fighting shape. Instead, he lead us straight to the treasure room.
I found a really old map. I checked it against the maps I took from the prison, and they were pretty similar. I few things had changed in the thousands of years between them, but some of the same places were still marked!
He pulled out some items and offered them to us: A staff that stood up by itself, a set of goggles that can see magical energy, some darksteel (whatever that is), some health potions, a potion of accuracy, and a boatload of gold coins. Beardy, that greedy bastard, took most of the treasure. He got the staff, goggles, and darksteel. We all took a couple of health potions. Elf Lady took the potion of accuracy, and I took the gold! It’s not gold from this era, but I’m sure I can find some use for it.
Balthazar told us he wished he could see how the world had changed. We offered to take him with us, so he decided to inhabit a suit of armor. Sword Lady put on the suit of armor with Balthazar’s magical presence in it. So we all scavenged some pretty gross armor. I can’t wear it, but maybe I can sell it somewhere.
We talked to him as we were leaving the game room. He told us how his great empire had been destroyed in a day. Everyone just died all at once, but he didn’t know exactly why. I thought, “How great could your empire be if they all died in a day?” But then he told us this, they could weave light! How crazy is that? That’s how they managed to host these games so long ago. Then he said something about shards and keys, but I was already daydreaming about spending that gold on some new equipment and plants. . .
Anyway, until next time,